Heartthrob who is formerly known as Jesse Siminski from the US who is signed to Richie Hawtin’s label; M-Nus talks to Maxumi Magazine about his creative stage name, the early years partying in America, his new life in Berlin and the ambition to collaborate with Chaka Kahn?!
He has released tracks such as ‘Setting Up’ and ‘Making Contakt’ and is taking the electronic music scene by storm with his fellow artists on the M-Nus label, including Magda, Ambivalent, Loco Dice, Mathew Jonson and Barem. This is one guy that has all the foundations to go far both with his music productions in the studio and live worldwide shows.
Heartthrob will soon to playing alongside his fellow record label companions at Loft Studio’s on October 12th and he talks of what he’s offering the London crowd.
Thank you for taking some time out to chat with me.
Firstly, I must say the name ‘Heartthrob’ how did you come up with such a title? I do love it!
Thank you! It was a nickname Magda had for me when we first met over 10 years ago. Back then Richie Hawtin asked his recording artists to come up with a name to use for the label and that one seemed to stick. It’s a bit embarrassing at this point, but what can you do?
Could you tell me a little about how you emerged on to the electronic music scene?
Again Magda and Minus are the two forces that dragged into the public eye. I was quietly making music and Djing in New York for many years but didn’t really have much ambition. When my tracks started to find their way into the DJ sets of that crew and later releases with Minus and others, I figured it would be a fun path to follow.
If you weren’t a DJ and Music Producer what career path do you think you would have taken?
The last job I had was as a Press Agent for various companies. I worked with a broad variety of companies from fashion houses, liquor companies, art organizations and non-profit organizations. If I moved back to New York, I would surely take that back up. It was always dynamic and interesting work.
I heard growing up you visited various places including Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Milwaukee for the rave scene that was surfacing. Where was your favourite place to party at and do you think that the early years have inspired your music today?
It’s true. As a teenager I would travel to those cities to buy records and check out the party scene. I would say Detroit had the best record shops, though I had the most fun in rural Wisconsin. The Drop Bass parties always had a broad programming approach that always made for an interesting night. Being exposed to that variety early on has shaped my taste without question.
You moved to the Big Apple in 1999, met Richie Hawtin for the first time and the M-Nus label was formed. What is the best thing about being involved in such a successful label and which of the other artists are you close to?
Working with Rich has been a lot of fun. There isn’t another person in techno who works as hard as him. He is full of crazy ideas and somehow is able to make interesting projects out of them. Some ideas are better than others. At the end of the day, his ability to bring creative minds together and his modern and evolving approach to techno speaks for his success. I’m pretty close with all of the artists. It’s like I date all of them as some point. Kidding…
Some labels that you have released tracks and remixes on have been Minus, Underline, Mos Ferry, Get Physical, Tora Tora Tora and Stock 5, amongst others. How is that you decide which label to release on or do they generally approach you?
I usually approach releasing on other labels with some caution. I have to know the people and respect what they are offering. It’s a pretty small scene in a lot of ways.
Heartthrob Free Mix
You now live in Berlin where you work on your music production and live performances, which do you, prefer being in the studio or travelling to worldwide shows?
I have lived in Berlin as of four years. Being on the road can be amazing but also gets a bit tiresome and stressful. On the flip side, being locked away in the studio constantly can be very lonely. So the balance of the two is crucial for my sanity!
Yourself, Barem and Ambivalent are going to be playing at Loft Studios in London on October 12th for an evening of Minus music. What can the London crowd expect to see from you there?
I am so excited about the Loft Studio’s showcase. Both DJ’s play terrific tunes that make a party go off. I’m expecting people to love the warm vibe of Loft Studio’s. It should complement the upfront party tunes we will offer. I have some new tracks of my own as well as some incredible new discoveries to try out.
Will you be sticking around London after the gig? If so, what is your preferred thing to do when in the UK’s capital?
I am popping in a day early to check out Frieze and see some art exhibitions. The timing is perfect! I can’t wait!
Finally if you could collaborate with one Music Producer in the future who would you choose to work with and why?
That’s a tough question. Chaka Kahn? She’s not a producer exactly but what a voice. I feel for you is in my top 10 all time favourites. I think I would be too intimidated by Prince so I’ll skip on that one.
Heartthrob it has been a pleasure and thank you so much for the catch up.
You can catch Heartthrob, alongside Ambivalent and Barem at Loft Studio’s in London on October 12th. For further information check out:
Heartthrob’s Hot Creations Tracks